If love were the only missing ingredient toward the solutions in our challenges, life would be much simpler. Having spent countless hours over the past few years speaking with parents about their child’s addiction and the crazy, insane, and bizarre experiences relating to it, one thing is for certain these parents love their children.
When dealing with addiction, love is a wonderful gift, but, it is not the answer.
I am quite confident that my addict son knows he is loved and always has known he was loved. In my conversations with parents experiencing the pain of an addicted child the most obvious component of their emotions is the love they have for their child.
Unfortunately, when it comes to addiction and drug abuse love isn’t the only ingredient to the cure or the solution.
No matter how much we love our addicted children, the key to their recovery goes far beyond our love for them.
It is hard to understand the complex triggers and emotional experiences that facilitates a child’s internal desire to embrace recovery. The term “find their bottom” is tossed around often. Everyone has a different bottom. Everyone has that moment of clarity at different places, points, and experiences in their life. If we only could figure that unique, elusive formula out
Every story a parent shares about their addiction related experiences is eerily similar to every other parents’. It is if the story is the same, while the names of the actors in this tragic play have been changed. Each story has its unique twists and plots. Yet, they so closely parallel everyone else’s that very little new is learned on the addiction side of the equation.
When it comes to recovery, every story is different. Recovery starts in unique ways, at different places or points in time, the roller coaster of relapse is unique, and, unfortunately, not every recovery story ends up in victory or celebration. Even those stories which involve sustained recovery shared by parents reflect a tempered optimistic celebration. Everything about recovery is unique to the people involved.
At this point in my experiential curve with addiction, I have learned that my unconditional love for my son is all I can give him. And, it is not enough. In my loving commitment I hope, pray, encourage, support, and cheer; but do not know which of these, if any, are part of the secret ingredients to his recovery. Everything beyond my unconditional love for my son is really up to him to find, embrace, and sustain.
While I will never lose hope for Brandon’s continued recovery, I will always be there with my unconditional love. I have found comfort and peace in the reality that the secret to his continued success is a complicated recipe that I will never fully grasp or understand — much of which is his to discover no matter what I do, say, or offer. I am finally okay with that.